in A recent study Posted in Astronomy and Astrophysics Lettersa team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used different computer models to examine 69 confirmed binary black holes to help determine their origin and found that their data results changed based on model configurations.
Essentially, inputs constantly changed outputs, and researchers want to better understand how and why this happens and what steps can be taken to get more consistent results.
“When you change the model and make it more flexible or make different assumptions, you get a different answer about how black holes form in the universe,” Silvia Pescovino, an MIT graduate student working on LIGO Laband co-author of the study, said in A statment.
“We show that people need to be careful because we are not yet at the point in our data where we can believe what the model tells us.”
Likes Binary starsAnd Binary black holes Two massive objects orbiting each other, each with the potential to collide – or merge – together, with another common property being that black holes are sometimes born from the collapse of dying massive stars, also known as supernovae.
But how binary black holes arose remains a mystery, as there are two current hypotheses regarding their formation: “binary field evolution” and “dynamical assembly”.
Field binary evolution involves when a pair of binary stars explodes, leaving two black holes in their place, which continue to orbit each other as before.
Since they initially orbited each other as binary stars, it is believed that their rotation and tilt should align as well.
Scientists also hypothesize that the aligned spins indicate that it originated from a galactic disk, given its relatively calm environment.
Dynamical aggregation involves when two individual black holes, each with its own unique tilt and rotation, are eventually combined by extreme astrophysical processes, to form their own binary. Black hole the system.
It is currently assumed that this pairing will most likely occur in a dense environment such as a globular cluster, where thousands of stars close together can force two black holes together.
The real question is: what part of binary black holes emerges from each method individually? Astronomers believe that answer lies in the data, specifically measurements of the black hole’s spin.
Using 69 confirmed black holes, astronomers have determined that these massive objects can originate from both globular clusters and galactic disks.
The LIGO Laboratory in the United States worked with its Italian counterpart, Virgoto ascertain the cycles (rotation periods) of 69 confirmed binary black holes.
“But we wanted to know, do we have enough data to make that distinction?” Pescovino said. “And it turns out that things are messy and uncertain, and it’s harder than it looks.”
For the study, the researchers continuously modified a series of computer models to check whether their results were consistent with each model’s predictions.
One such model is configured to assume that only a fraction of binary black holes have been produced with aligned spins, with the remainder containing random spins. Another model is configured to predict mean spin direction variation.
In the end, their findings indicated that the results are constantly changing according to the modified models.
Essentially, the results were constantly changed based on model modifications, which means that data from more than 69 confirmed binary black holes would likely be required to obtain more consistent results.
“Our paper shows that your result depends entirely on how you model your astrophysics, rather than the data itself,” Pescovino said.
“We need more data than we thought, if we are to make a claim independent of the astrophysical assumptions we make,” said Salvatore Vitale, associate professor of physics and member of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the lead author of the study.
But how much data will astronomers need? Vitale estimates that the LIGO network will be able to detect a new binary black hole every few days, once the network returns to service in early 2023.
“The spin measurements we have now are very uncertain,” Vitale said.
“But as we build more of it, we can get better information. Then we can say, no matter the specifics of my model, the data always tells me the same story — a story we can then believe.”
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